2137 112th CONGRESS
H. R. 2137
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to
authorize an unemployment assistance voucher program.IN
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 3, 2011
RENACCI (for himself and Mr. CLARKE of Michigan) introduced the following bill;
which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means
amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to authorize an unemployment assistance
Be it enacted by the Senate and
House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Empowering More
Productive and Lasting Opportunity Act of 2011'.
SEC. 2. TREATMENT
OF EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE VOUCHER PROGRAMS.
(a) Use of Unemployment
Fund for Employment Assistance Voucher Program-
LAW- Section 3304(a)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking
`and' at the end of subparagraph (F), by inserting `and' at the end of subparagraph
(G), and by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
`(H) during the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Empowering
More Productive and Lasting Opportunity Act of 2011, amounts may be withdrawn
for the payment of allowances under an employment assistance voucher program (as
defined in section 3306(v));'.
(2) PERMISSIBLE EXPENDITURES-
Section 3306(f) of such Code is amended--
striking `and' at the end of paragraph (5),
(B) by redesignating the paragraph relating to the self-employment assistance
program as paragraph (6) and striking the period at the end of such paragraph
and inserting `; and'; and
(C) by adding at
the end the following new paragraph:
the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Empowering More
Productive and Lasting Opportunity Act of 2011, amounts may be withdrawn for the
payment of allowances under an employment assistance voucher program (as defined
in subsection (v)).'.
(b) Employment Assistance Voucher Program
Defined- Section 3306 of such Code is amended by adding at the end the following
`(v) Employment Assistance Voucher Program- For
the purposes of this chapter--
`(1) IN GENERAL- The term `employment
assistance voucher program' means a program under which--
`(A) an eligible individual is issued an employment assistance voucher,
`(B) upon employment with an employer described in paragraph (5)--
`(i) the eligible individual transfers the employment assistance voucher to the
`(ii) the individual ceases
to receive unemployment compensation and is paid wages by the employer, and
`(iii) the employer receives payments upon presenting the voucher to the State,
`(C) the program meets such other requirements
as the Secretary of Labor determines to be appropriate.
`(2) RULES RELATING TO UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS- For purposes of paragraph (1)--
`(A) COMPENSATION- Compensation pursuant to paragraph (1)(B)(ii) shall--
`(i) be at a rate equal to or greater than the percentage specified by State law
(but in no event less than 110 percent) of the rate which would otherwise be payable
to the individual,
`(ii) not be less
than the minimum wage (as specified in section 6 of the Fair Labor Standards Act
`(iii) be payable for a period
not to exceed the maximum number of remaining weeks of unemployment compensation
(including supplemental and emergency) to which the employee would be entitled
(but for participating in the employment assistance voucher program), determined
as of the date of employment.
OF EMPLOYMENT- If, before the end of the period referred to in subparagraph (A)(iii),
an individual's employment with an employer under the employment assistance voucher
program is terminated for reasons other than cause, the individual is entitled
to the remaining period of entitlement referred to in subparagraph (A)(iii) less
the number of weeks of such employment.
CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS NOT TO APPLY- State requirements relating to availability
for work, active search for work, and refusal to accept work are not applicable
to individuals participating in the employment assistance voucher program.
`(3) EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE VOUCHER- The term `employment assistance voucher' means
`(A) obtained by an eligible individual
pursuant to the State law,
`(B) payable to the
employer of the eligible individual--
at a rate determined under State law but not to exceed 90 percent of the amount
of unemployment compensation to which the eligible individual is entitled, and
`(ii) on the same schedule as unemployment compensation would be payable to the
individual but for employment under the employment assistance voucher program.
`(4) ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUAL- The term `eligible individual' means an individual who--
`(A) is eligible to receive regular unemployment compensation under the State
law, extended unemployment, or emergency unemployment or would be eligible to
receive such compensation except for the requirements described in paragraph (1)(B),
`(B) is identified pursuant to a State worker profiling system as an individual
likely to exhaust regular unemployment compensation, and
`(C) is employed by an eligible employer.
EMPLOYER- The term `eligible employer' means an employer who agrees to the terms
and conditions of employment under the unemployment assistance voucher program
and who is approved by the State agency.
OF PARTICIPATING INDIVIDUALS UNDER FEDERAL AND STATE LAW- Individuals participating
in an unemployment assistance voucher program shall be treated as unemployed for
the purposes of Federal and State laws applicable to unemployment compensation,
except that wages paid to the employee under such program shall be subject to
Federal and State taxation to the same extent and in the same manner as wages
`(7) COST LIMITER- A State program shall not
be treated as an employment assistance voucher program for purposes of this chapter
unless the program does not result in any cost to the Unemployment Trust Fund
(established by section 904(a) of the Social Security Act) in excess of the cost
that would be incurred by such State and charged to such Fund, or to any Federal
funds in the system if the State had not participated in such program.
`(8) PREVENTION OF EMPLOYMENT TERMINATION TO PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAM- A State program
shall not be treated as an employment assistance voucher program for purposes
of this chapter unless the State has in effect measures to prevent employers from
terminating employment for purposes of participating in the employment assistance
(c) Conforming Amendment- Section 303(a)(5)
of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 503(a)(5)) is amended by striking `; and'
and inserting `: Provided further, That amounts may be withdrawn for
the payment of allowances under an employment assistance voucher program (as defined
in section 3306(v) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986); and'.
(d) State Reports- Any State operating an employment assistance voucher program
approved by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to section 3304(a)(4)(H) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986 (as added by this section) shall report annually to the Secretary
on the number of individuals who participate in the program, the operating costs
of the program, compliance with program requirements, and any other relevant aspects
of program operations requested by the Secretary.
(e) Report to
Congress- Not later than 4 years after the date of the enactment of this Act,
the Secretary of Labor shall submit a report to the Congress with respect to the
operation of the employment assistance voucher program. Such report shall be based
on the reports received from the States pursuant to subsection (d) and include
such other information as the Secretary of Labor determines is appropriate.
(f) Effective Date- The provisions of this section and the amendments made by
this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.